MARK Bentley hopes Kane Gilbert will build on his first competitive goal for Canvey Island.

The Gulls will welcome Middlesex’s Ashford Town to Park Lane for an FA Trophy preliminary round replay tonight after Gilbert’s late penalty ensured a 2-2 draw at the weekend.

And Canvey boss Bentley was pleased to see Gilbert step up to the plate when under pressure in the dying moments at Ashford.

“Fair play to Kane because he is a lad who is desperate to do well,” said Bentley.

“I know I can rely on him and he gives 100 per cent every game.

“He has been desperate to score so stepping up having not scored for us in a competitive fixture is credit to him.

“I’m really pleased for him and hopefully he can build on his first goal for the club.”

Replays have become second nature for Canvey, having already competed in three clashes after FA Cup stalemates.

The Gulls have won two of those replays, with the only defeat coming following a penalty shoot-out loss to local rivals Bowers & Pitsea in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup seven days ago.

And Canvey will be confident of progressing in the FA Trophy against an Ashford side still searching for their first win of the season.

Ashford find themselves at the foot of the Isthmian South Central standings, but Bentley admits Canvey’s fitness levels - following 120 minutes against Bowers last week - will be put to the test.

The former Southend United midfielder added: “It’s all about recovery and being ready to put another shift in.

“It’s there for us if we want it. They are going to have a long travel down to Canvey, which won’t suit them.

“We go again and we’ll see what we’ve got.”

The initial tie between Canvey and Ashford finished all square, although the Gulls got off to the perfect start as Jason Hallett turned a cross home from close range inside the first minute.

However, Ashford restored parity on 64 minutes as Kelvin Adjei found the back of the net.

And Ashford turned the game on its head as substitute Scott Todd rounded off a swift counter-attack.

But Canvey were offered a lifeline when Tobi Joseph was pulled back and awarded a penalty.

Gilbert dispatched the 88th minute spot-kick to ensure the two sides will meet again, with the winners of tonight’s replay bagging £2,250 in prize money.